Make Flu Flee!

Doses of this year’s flu vaccine are already being shipped to health care providers across the country, and with sporadic cases of the flu already appearing in some states, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is once again urging all of us to get a flu shot.

Unfortunately for the needle-phobic among us, the nasal mist form of the vaccine—which was introduced in 2013 and has been shown to offer little protection against getting sick—won’t be available this year. With the needle once again the only option, the CDC speculates that the number of vaccinations will plummet.

Some of the needle dodgers are afraid that the vaccine may actually give them the flu (it won’t), or they simply can’t face the prospect of getting jabbed. Other folks (procrastinators by nature) simply put it off until it’s too late to bother. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the vaccine’s protection doesn’t kick in for about two weeks. So being proactive could make a big difference in the state of your health this winter.

In addition to getting vaccinated annually, conventional wisdom has it that to protect yourself and your family from the flu you need to wage a constant battle against germs that collect on all the frequently touched surfaces in your home. According to the most recent advice from top-tier doctors, that kind of cleaning frenzy isn’t necessary. Although inanimate objects may sometimes transmit flu viruses, their sharing power can’t hold a candle to human hands and breath. Still, if you want to disinfect some of the most likely germ catchers, here’s where to focus your attack:

  • Computer keyboards and mouses
  • Desks and tables
  • Doorknobs and light switches
  • Faucets
  • Handrails
  • TV and video-game remote control